To the modern parent, classic nursery decor can feel antiquated and a little ho-hum. Thank goodness, the days of outfitting your newborn's room in pink ruffles, teddy bear motifs or sailboat stencils are over. Today's nurseries boast hip, fresh design that's child-friendly without looking babyish.
2012 has a deep obsession with the color gray. From living rooms to bedrooms, gray is this year's go-to wall color. Though it may seem like an odd choice for a baby's room, it's actually a great gender-neutral alternative to white or yellow.
Go for a lighter, brighter shade and accent the room with bold pops of color. No need to fret about clashing -- gray matches with just about everything.
Make It Multifunctional
Your little one isn't going to be little forever. Furniture pieces like the changing table and the crib are only useful for about a year. Avoid having to completely refurnish the room and opt for convertible pieces that are made to grow with your child. This nursery's crib can easily be turned into a daybed for a toddler and then converted into a double bed for a big kid.
Photo: Natart Juvenile
Keep It Simple
Nursery themes are outdated and often feel terribly overwhelming. Not only that, but down the road your child is going to have their own opinion on how the room should look. Save yourself the headache and keep the room simple. Choose individual pieces that complement each other but don't make the space feel over-designed.
Indulge In Some Art
Keep the cutesy quotient down by decorating the nursery walls with photographs and paintings that could be appropriate for any age. Pieces with a distinct modern influence that emphasize bright colors and shapes are great for stimulating young minds. This room's collection of cartoons and pop art does a great job of mixing kid-friendly elements with a punk rock vibe.
Choosing furniture, bedding and accents that are eco-friendly is not only on-trend, but helps reduce your household's carbon footprint. Look for all-natural pieces that are fair trade and free of toxins. As a bonus, green furniture is known for having innovative design. You can score sleek, modern pieces that are also safe for the environment.
Add An Unexpected Element
Every room needs a little bit of "wow." Make your nursery really pop with one or two unexpected elements. This could mean an animal printed rug, a thoroughly modern chandelier, or an over-sized wall decal. Be creative, but don't get crazy. Too many flashy items will make the room look cluttered.
At the end of the day, a successful nursery is not only stylish, but warm, welcoming and cozy. By choosing great design elements that are also kid-friendly, you're guaranteed to have the perfect room for your brand new little one.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown